About High Mountain Musing

Welcome to High Mountain Musing; reflections on nature, solitude, peace, and simplicity…

Gin is the voice of High Mountain Muse, a personal and intimate yet warm and welcoming blog about nature, family and the wilds that surround their high mountain, off grid home. She, alongside her husband and son, own and operate Lost Trail Ranch, their year round remote home and guest ranch located far and away in the mountains of southwestern Colorado.

We hope you will enjoy reading these back country, high mountain living skills and stories shared by our family.  Through accounts of our daily life, observations of the beautiful world around us, and tales of our out of the ordinary adventures and big projects (we always have projects!), we hope to show you that living far off the beaten path need not be impossible or intimidating – we try to make it simple, comfortable, and more often than not, enjoyable. This is not just “surviving”… this is living the good life!  We hope you will join us, become a part of the community of those who not only live in, but live for, the mountains

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That's me, "musing" at our kitchen table.
That’s me, “musing” at our kitchen table.

Gin, along with her boys (husband Bob and son Forrest) own and operate Lost Trail Ranch, their year round remote home and guest ranch located high in the mountains of southwestern Colorado.  Please visit the web site at www.lost-trail.com if you’d like to see and read more about us and our ranch. 

The three of us above the ranch.

The three of us above the ranch.

Please feel free to send us comments.  We love to hear from our readers, and to listen to your stories as well. You can use the form below, or use the “comments” link at the bottom of every post.  Or to contact us directly and personally, please feel free to e-mail us at highmountainmuse@gmail.com.

Thanks for joining us, and I hope to hear from you soon.  And most of all, I hope you enjoy being here.







  1. Love the picture of you at the kitchen table! It’s perfect!

  2. Pretty sappy, but I guess pretty typical, huh?

  3. Hi Gin,
    So glad you left me a link to your blog. I love your lifestyle and your blog!

  4. Thank you, Diane. A wonderful, inspiration site you have created that I am enjoying.

  5. Your three kind words, made my day! I’m new to the blogging world and look forward to reading your posts. Very peaceful, fulfilling way of life. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for sharing, I am new to blogging as well, and very pleased. The sense of community and peoples ability to help out each other is inspiring. Please let me know if I can help you in any way!

  7. Oh my gosh! Just look at that for a lifestyle! I’m going to be a regular here, you transport me to the magic of the mountains from the flat fenland of Britain. Stop by for a coffee again soon my new blogging friend!

  8. Why thank you! And I will enjoy visiting!

  9. Hi, just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading about you and your family. i have traveled in your area twice in 2006 with horses. i look foward to reading more about your happens on the ranch. thanks.

    mark from minnesota

  10. Thanks, Mark! I hope you’ll enjoy, and I hope to write more about the horses and our adventures in the back country when this snow melts. Such a long winter here. I’ve heard Minnesota is pretty tough in the winter too.

  11. Just found your blog. Love the photos and stories. I’ll visit again, from my mountains to your mountains, to see what’s happening.

  12. Thanks, Gin, for stopping by to comment on my blog this morning. Looks like we share many of the same philosophies as well as a love for horses! I’ll be watching your blog too.

    Emily from briarcroft.wordpress.com

  13. Hi Ginny. We have enjoyed this site as well as the peoms of Forrest. We see Emmy as often as we can when she is in the Bay Area. Our best to you and especially Forrest!

    Art & Carol

  14. Thanks, Art & Carol. My best to you both!

  15. Hi there! I love your blog! It’s hard for me to find blogs to which I can relate. I also have another blog for my poetry and for my everyday musings…
    I’m not too savvy about these things, but I heard about something called an RSS feed where you can be sent notices if a new entry in a blog is made. Would you know how that’s done…I would love to visit your blog again and again. Do you get an email or something?
    I only have a few moments today, but I want to come back later today and read…you have so much to enjoy here!
    Thanks for the great blog! Elaine in Cypress, CA

  16. Elaine, Thanks for writing. I quickly checked out both of your blogs, and realized I should not be quick. Wonderful sites, both, I look forward to reading a lot more! There are a few other sites I think you might relate to, check out the ones I have posted on the Links page – especially the Katmom one – I think you’ll get along great!
    As for the RSS feed, I need to figure that one too and have not yet. Unfortunately, even my son (15, like your youngest) hasn’t figured that out yet either. The WordPress folks have been super with support if you write to them for help. I suppose I should do that, too.

  17. Good morning! I have to admit, I was a little hesitant about throwing my blog addys at you. I can’t escape the feeling that I’m somehow trying to advertise myself. Can you tell I’m new to this? For that express reason, I haven’t put ads on my blog. It’s not for gathering money…it’s for making friends and sharing lifestyles that I can relate to in some way. In that vein, I’ve found several. I’m going to check out Katmom and others you have links for.
    I live in a mobile home park with the Bandaid-sized yard, so anytime I run across blogs about country living, gardening (not the tea-and-crumpet style, either), and just simply life being lived in a place where there’s elbow room, I read with great interest and lots of sighing. Someday, I say to myself.
    When my husband and I retire, we’re climbing into the biggest RV our retirement budget will permit, shutting the door, and not looking back. And we’re determined to live out the rest of our lives where nothing impedes the open sky except trees and mountains.
    Oh…sorry to go on so. Thanks for reading my blogs. Like you, I have to read my favorites in “snatches.” I have one you may enjoy. It’s called Chickens in the Road, and she’s in Virginia. I know, you probably have several you follow, but Chickens is really cute.
    Enjoy your day! Elaine in Cypress, CA

  18. BTW…I have my blogs over at Blogger.com as you know. Long ago, I had a blog over here, and I think I abandoned it because I couldn’t figure out one of the applications—loading pictures or something like that. Anyhow, I lost my password, but it looks as if they didn’t forget about me. I was suprised to see one of my colored pencil pieces pop up as an avatar when I posted to you.
    Actually, I’m not very happy with blogger. They’re very limited as to their options and templates. Especially their templates! Only a handful, and so boring!
    Yesterday I went through a BUNCH of blogs over here at WordPress and was very impressed with the variety of templates used. I’m just wondering how difficult it would be to transfer my blog over to WordPress. HHHmmmmm………..
    I actually have another blog that I didn’t include with the other two. Again, inundating you with 2 seemed a bit much, let alone three. In retrospect, I suppose, one can read as much or as little as they want. So, at the risk of overpowered you with too much, here’s the other addy. This one’s just daily ramblings… http://mickeylayne.blogspot.com/
    And that ends them.
    So now I truly am off to start my day! Elaine

  19. Elaine, I dont’ think it’s wrong to “advertise” your blog. I think it is more like “sharing.” If you didn’t share, I may not know, and others may not know. I think that is a vital part of blogging. We all have to share with each other. I believe that is what makes it all work. Keeps the wheels turning. Us working together, helping each other out, caring even just a little bit. I’ve seen more compassion of late on the internet – I suppose people are tired of being so emotionally distant and hidden. Anyway, it truly gives me hope.
    The other blog I’d recommend to you is Mrs. Twittles! (see Links) She’s super, wait till you “meet” her.

  20. Elaine, write and share all you want – that’s what it’s about! I think the folks here at WordPress have a good thing going. They must have blogged plenty themselves, because they make it work so well and know what we need. I’ll go check out your new post and leave a comment over there after I read it…

  21. Hey, thanks for the comment on the “peppers and tomatoes” post on my blog. I enjoyed stumbling across yours. It’s always nice to hear from someone outside my own world. 🙂

  22. I am glad to find your blog. Great! I have been coming to Creede for 50 years now. My family has some country where Clear Creek come into the Rio. Been in the family since the 30’s. I have healed my soul many times there and on top of Mt. Baldy. Although “upriver” is not the same as when I was young and handsome. It is still My Mecca. Thanks for doing this. Kind Regards

  23. Richard, thanks for writing. I bet you have some good stories and insight of this area. If you ever have time to share, please write!

  24. Gin,
    Thanks for the comment! I also look forward to getting to know you all more as well. I hope that we can connect this summer as well as times to come in the future. It is so wonderful up there and I have found it hard to explain to people that have not experienced it for themselves. I frequently get blank looks with a reply like… but what is there to do, no TV? 🙂 I feel so fortunate to know even a glimpse.
    thanks for all your wonderful writing it helps us feel connected to our home away from home!

  25. Beka, the thing I look forward to most is the opportunity to share time with the horses with you. I don’t know if I am the best teacher, but it will be a good start, and I could use a riding buddy – even if I have to “train” one myself. So if you’re game, I sure am!

    And for our LTR readers here: Beka is hopefully going to be able to join us for the earlier part of the summer. Seth has relocated to a great position at an organic dairy in Maine. We’ll miss him, but it sounds like a great place. I’m pretty sure you’re going to be as pleased as I am to have Beka joining us here this year. There is a link to her blog on the “suggested links” page.

  26. Gin!
    I am very excited about that as well! I for sure need to be “trained” – most definately, but I want to learn. I am confident you are a great teacher.

    I am also thrilled to be joining you all up there, I can hardly wait for the time to come! 🙂

  27. My first visit 18 miles up river. Was when I was in diapers. Cloth diapers mind you. I can’t remember the issues my mother had. But, she vowed not to come back till they had electricity and indoor plumbing. So I did not return till I was around four. My Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother came out in June and stayed till October. They loved it. They came out in Model T’s and A’s. Took them around four days to get there. They would camp on the side of the road. No worries then in the 30’s to be attacked. I think they did have a generator and batteries. Kind of like the setup you have. Of course they had kerosene lamps. We still have them and use them when the juice goes out. My great-grandmother got sick out there and passed away in a hospital down in the valley. My great-grandfather would still come out but, I don’t think he stayed as long. My grandparents also came out. They never stayed as long. Couple of months as they got older. My grandfather was 97 when he came last. He lived to be 99. I think one of the factors to his long life was the time in the mountains. I remember the mines being open. Creede was rough and ready back then. I can remember maybe four bars open. I can remember when there were very few cabins upriver. Mainly guest ranches. When they finally paved the road from Wright’s Lower to up towards Lake City. My grandparents thought the country was going to hell in a handbasket. I can remember when I could run from the cabin to the Fern Creek Trailhead and back. I can remember when the hippie girls would come down from the commune up on Little Fern. To buy supplies at Freemon’s Store when it was in the big house there. My Dad would never let me go up there for a visit. Imagine that. There were many hippies in Creede at that time. There was a time when the backpackers were everywhere. The outfitters did not like it one bit. There were years when I was not able to spend much time there. The best times were spent there with my family. Bar-B-Que ing on the front porch. Playing cards to the wee hours of the night. Everybody sitting around the table watching the radio. When we landed a man on the moon. Riding a surefooted mountain steed over the high country. Lively conversations were had there. Most of my folks are gone now. But, I am having joy showing my grandkids the many aspects of the San Juans. It is a heck of a thing to become old enough to realize you have become Santa Claus. I’ll stop rambling now. But, this has been fun. All the Best.

  28. Becoming Santa Claus sounds like a pretty good thing to me. Bet your grandkids think so too!

  29. Gin…your tapestry of soul is so beautiful here. thank you for sharing the world of you and of mountains high and rivers wild. i feel this great overflowing wealth just in knowing i can land here and read your spilling heart-mind wonder. keep keep on…

  30. Hi Gin, My name is Ed. SouthWest Colorado is close to two of my sisters. One is in the Mancus area and the other is in Hotchkiss. I also have a nephew running around near Paonia…My father used to own a little tavern in Mancus called the Columbine and I ran around Durango and the Valley there for a bit. I am very familiar with your world.

  31. Hi Ed, thanks for writing. Mancos and area are just the other side of the Divide from here, not too far as the crow flies. It’s really lovely there; and a real, comfortable community. I can’t help but wonder about the beautiful image you have on your “aviatar.” Please tell me more…

  32. The image is not my creation but represents my attitude towards the environment and world. One of the biggest issues we face is man’s footprint on earth. The earth is fragile and in our hands.

    I am very political with moderate views and believe in balance in all things. Please come visit my blog and read some of the Enviro-friendly links towards alternate fuels. I also have some political stuff as well as being a sports nut. Hope to see you. 🙂 http://italco.wordpress.com

  33. I forgot to mention…my sister and Brother in-law own and operate the A & A Mesa Verde RV Park…Becky and Bobby…stop and say hi if ever in their area.

  34. Ed – I hope you see this response – we’d love to meet your sister & bro-in-law. Please tell them my husband’s great grandfather was Clayton Wetherill. Being a part of Mesa Verde, they will know who that is!

  35. Hi, Gin. What a pleasure to come across your site, so full of insightful stories about people and place. I recently started my own blog (hoosiermuse.wordpress.com) and have listed you on my links. I look forward to checking in now and again to learn from your family in the mountains. Take care. Jeff Muse

  36. Jeff, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so glad you enjoyed, and hope you’ll visit back when you can. I look forward to visiting your blog too…

  37. I love your blog and will keep reading:)

  38. Hi,
    I love your site!!!
    Can you tell me more about the fences that you have handcrafted. My wife wants me to use standing dead poles on our property to craft a rustic fence. It will serve more for keeping our chickens in and our dogs out. Any help???
    Thanks! Frank

  39. Frank, Thanks so much for stopping by, and asking about rustic fencing. If you can, take a look at an old post called “The Coyote Fence.” Otherwise, please feel free to e-mail me directly for specific questions. It’s wonderful material for fencing, and a beautiful and natural barrier, but after living with it a few years, I’d do a few things differently in the construction… my e-mail is highmountainmuse@gmail.com. Glad to help in any way I can.

  40. Hi Gin:

    I’ve been perusing many a site about homesteading and Colorado lately. My new husband and I are about to embark on a journey away from all the “civilized” madness and into the challenge of starting a small homestead a little west of Trinidad, CO. We’re both way past our 40s, but we’ve sense enough to keep it small and simple and have been preparing body and soul, and researching for the past few years. I hope to be able to pick your brain every now and again, and enjoy reading about your ongoing journey.

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